Nadal's record run on clay ends in Madrid quarters, Edmund bows out

Nadal's record run on clay ends in Madrid quarters, Edmund bows out

But the Argentinian double-faulted to give his opponent a second break in the very next game, as Nadal sealed a straight-forward victory in an hour and 44 minutes.

Notably, Roger Federer, who has opted to skip the clay-court swing of the season, will leapfrog Nadal when the rankings are updated next week.

Rafael Nadal suffered a shock 7-5 6-3 defeat by Austrian Dominic Thiem in the Madrid Open quarter-finals on Friday, a result that means the Spaniard will lose the world number one ranking.

Nadal said: "I am playing against one of the best players in the world and..." "I tried to fight back but I wasn't good enough and he was better". Some days you don't play as well as you'd like to play.

The defeat ends Nadal's epic run of 50 straight sets won on clay, which set a new record for consecutive sets won on a single surface, topping John McEnroe's 49 on carpet in 1984.

If there was one player that had the armoury to stop Rafael Nadal, especially on clay, it was Dominic Thiem.




Thiem, who lost to Nadal in the Monte Carlo quarter-finals last month, was the last player to beat the Spaniard on clay - at last year's Rome Masters. So I had to play an extraordinary match, and that's what I did. I think I really hurt him with them....

"This year till now I had only one or two tournaments that I had played". "I think from Shanghai (last year) till Monte-Carlo, I hadn't finished a single tournament".

Next up for Thiem is Kevin Anderson, who is a hard-to-believe 6-0 in the head-to-head series and 13-2 in total sets. "So I can't go back to the hotel and think that I have to do a lot of things different to prepare the next events because [that] will not be something that will be very smart". In the other men's semi-final, Alexander Zverev will play Denis Shapovalov.

World No 8 Anderson reached the last four after his 7-6 (7-3), 3-6, 6-3 victory over Serbian qualifier Dusan Lajofic in Friday's quarterfinals. A borderline Masters 1000 specialist (two-time champion and recent Miami runner-up), the 21-year-old German booked his spot in the Madrid semis by avenging his Miami final loss to John Isner.

Thiem's reward is a semi-final clash with Kevin Anderson, with this match kicking off proceedings at 15:00 United Kingdom time in the Spanish capital.

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